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Italian Republic

Template:Infobox country/imagetable
Template:Map caption
and largest city
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Official languagesItalian
GovernmentUnitary constitutional
parliamentary republic
Template:Infobox country/multirow
Senate of the Republic
Chamber of Deputies
Template:Infobox country/multirow
• Total
Template:Convinfobox (71st)
• Water (%)
• 31.12.2016 estimate
60,589,445 Increase[1] (23rd)
• Density
Template:Convinfobox (63rd)
GDP (PPP)2016 estimate
• Total
$2.234 trillion[2] (12th)
• Per capita
$36,833[2] (32nd)
GDP (nominal)2016 estimate
• Total
$1.850 trillion[2] (8th)
• Per capita
$30,507[2] (25th)
Gini (2015)32.4[3]
HDI (2015)Increase 0.887[4]
very high · 26th
CurrencyEuro ()b (EUR)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
• Summer (DST)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy (AD)
Driving sideright
Calling code+39c
ISO 3166 code[[ISO 3166-2:Template:ISO 3166 code|Template:ISO 3166 code]]
Internet TLD.itd
  1. German is co-official in South Tyrol; French is co-official in the Aosta Valley; Slovene is co-official in the province of Trieste and the province of Gorizia; Ladin is co-official in South Tyrol, in Trentino and in other northern areas.
  2. Before 2002, the Italian lira. The euro is accepted in Campione d'Italia but its official currency is the Swiss franc.[5]
  3. To call Campione d'Italia, it is necessary to use the Swiss code +41.
  4. The .eu domain is also used, as it is shared with other European Union member states.

Italy (Italian: Italia [iˈtaːlja]) is a country in south Europe and a member of the European Union. Its official name is Repubblica Italiana. The Italian flag is green, white and red. Italy is a democratic republic and is a founding member of the European Union.[6] Its President is Sergio Mattarella and its Prime Minister is Mario Draghi. Italy is also a member of the G8, as it has the eighth largest Gross Domestic Product in the world.

Before 1861, it was made up of smaller kingdoms and city-states. Italy has become famous for its wine, as well as its food. Some foods are different between regions. Famous dishes include various types of pasta, pizza, and grapes. Olives are much used. In the 8th and 7th centuries BC, for various reasons, including demographic crisis (famine, overcrowding, climate change, etc.), the search for new commercial outlets and ports, and expulsion from their homeland, Greeks began a large colonization drive, including southern Italy such as Magna Graecia.[7]

The country's capital, Rome, is one of the most famous cities in the world, as it was the capital of the Roman Empire. Other famous cities in Italy include, Venice, Naples, Genoa, Florence, Palermo, and Milan.


Satellite image of Italy

Italy is a peninsula, meaning it is encompassed by the sea on all of its sides apart from one side of the country (its north side). Northern Italy is separated from France, Switzerland, and Austria by the Alps,[8] a chain of mountains. Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco in Italian or white mountain in English), the highest mountain in western Europe,[9] belongs to this chain. The second important chain of mountains in Italy is the Apennines (Appennini in Italian), which are in central and southern Italy.

The capital of Italy is Rome where the Roman Empire started. Other cities in Italy are Milan, Turin, Florence, Genoa, Naples, Palermo, and Venice. The country has a number of islands, the biggest of which are Sicily and Sardinia,[10][11] which can be reached by ship or aircraft. Italy shares maritime borders with Libya to the south.

The Po River is the longest river in Italy. It flows through 5 cities: Torino, Piacenza, Cremona Ferrara and Rovigo.[12] The Tiber River runs through the city of Rome.

Northern Italy has some of the biggest lakes in the country, such as Lake Garda, Lake Como, Lake Maggiore and Lake Iseo.[13] Because it is surrounded by the sea, Italy has many kilometers of coast, which brings tourists from all over the world.[14] Tourists also come to see Italy's historical places.[15]

Two very small separate countries are located within Italy. They are San Marino, which is surrounded by part of Northern Italy, and the Vatican City, which is inside Rome.

People and culture

People from Italy are called Italians. Even if an Italian were to leave Italy, it is possible that their descendants could also claim Italian citizenship due to Italian nationality law relying mostly on ius sanguinis or "right of blood" in Latin.[16] Nearly all the Italians are Christians, and most of these are Roman Catholics, which is based in the Vatican City and home to its leader, the Pope.[17] Leonardo da Vinci is a famous artist, he is the creator of the Mona Lisa which is now in the louvre Paris.

The population of Italy is a little over 60 million.[18] About 2.7 million of them live in Rome,[19] and 1.3 million in Milan.[20] As of 31 December 2015, over 5 million foreigners were living in Italy, which is 8.3% of the total population.[21]

The official language of Italy is Italian and in some small areas German, Slovenian or French. People also speak dialects of Italian such as Sicilian and Sardinian. There are many different dialects spoken in Italy. They vary between regions and, in some cases, also between provinces.

The people of Italy are mostly descendant from the ancient Romans.

Italy is home to more World Heritage Sites than any other nation in the world.[22] These sites are culturally important and valued according to UNESCO. About 60% of the works of art of the world are in Italy. Italy is also a big wine producer. In 2005 it made over 5 million tonnes.[23]


Italy has a modern social welfare system. The labor market enjoys relative strength, with many foreigners, especially from Romania, working in Italy where the wages are much higher. But it could have been much more workers on the labor market because men and women already retired in the age of 57 and the unemployment rate is relatively high at 8.2 percent.[24][25] Italy's modern society has been built up through loans and now the country has a catastrophic high debt of €1.9trn or 120 percent of the country's total GDP. And the government cannot pay back the loans during the time period the EU wish.[26]


Template:Bar box

Most people in Italy are Roman Catholics, but the Catholic Church is no longer officially the state religion. 87.8% of the people said they were Roman Catholic.[27] Only about a third said they were active members (36.8%). There are also other Christian groups in Italy, more than 700,000 Eastern Orthodox Christians. 180,000 of them belong to the Greek Orthodox Church.[28]

550,000 are Pentecostals and Evangelicals (0.8%). 235,685 Jehovah's Witnesses (0.4%),[29] 30,000 Waldensians,[30] 25,000 Seventh-day Adventists, 22,000 Mormons, 20,000 Baptists, 7,000 Lutherans, 4,000 Methodists.[31] The country's oldest religious minority is the Jewish community. It has roughly 45,000 people. It is no longer the largest non-Christian group.

About 825,000 Muslims live in Italy. Most of them immigrated.[32] (1.4% of the total population) Only 50,000 are Italian citizens. In addition, there are 50,000 Buddhists[33][34] 70,000 Sikh[35] and 70,000 Hindus in Italy.

In Venice, gondolas are a way for people to get around.


During the celebration of Epiphany, it's traditional to eat a special cake called 'Rosca de Reyes' Three Kings Cake. A figure of Baby Jesus is hidden inside the cake. Whoever has the baby Jesus in their piece of cake is the 'Godparent' of Jesus for that year. Famous Italian foods include pasta or pizza.

Major cities


Italy is divided into 20 Regions (Regioni in Italian) and every Region is divided into Provinces.

There are 20 Regions. 5 of them have a special status, they are called autonomous. This means that they can make certain local laws more easily. These regions are marked with an asterisk (*) below.

Region Capital Area (km²) Population
Abruzzo L'Aquila Template:Nts Template:Nts
Aosta Valley* Aosta Template:Nts Template:Nts
Apulia Bari Template:Nts Template:Nts
Basilicata Potenza Template:Nts Template:Nts
Calabria Catanzaro Template:Nts Template:Nts
Campania Naples Template:Nts Template:Nts
Emilia-Romagna Bologna Template:Nts Template:Nts
Friuli-Venezia Giulia* Trieste Template:Nts Template:Nts
Lazio Rome Template:Nts Template:Nts
Liguria Genoa Template:Nts Template:Nts
Lombardy Milan Template:Nts Template:Nts
Marche Ancona Template:Nts Template:Nts
Molise Campobasso Template:Nts Template:Nts
Piedmont Turin Template:Nts Template:Nts
Sardinia* Cagliari Template:Nts Template:Nts
Sicily* Palermo Template:Nts Template:Nts
Tuscany Florence Template:Nts Template:Nts
Trentino-Alto Adige* Trento Template:Nts Template:Nts
Umbria Perugia Template:Nts Template:Nts
Veneto Venice Template:Nts Template:Nts


The Head of State is Sergio Mattarella, whose task began in February 2015. Mattarella is currently the President of the Italian Republic. The first president was Enrico De Nicola.

The Head of Government is Paolo Gentiloni, who became Prime Minister on December 12, 2016, succeeding Matteo Renzi. Renzi was previously the Mayor of Florence and is Italy's youngest-ever Prime Minister, at age 39 when taking office.

Italy was one of the first members of the European Union and in 2002 along with 11 other European countries, it changed to using the euro as its official currency. Before this, the Italian lira had been used since 1861.

Anyone who wants to be President of Italy must have Italian citizenship, be at least 50 years old, and must be able to hold political and civil rights.


The Colosseum in Rome. Its original name is Flavian Amphitheatre, being built under the Flavian dynasty, an imperial Family of the Ancient Rome.

The capital of Italy was Rome with ancient times. Rome founded in 753 BC was a separate state well-known as Roman Kingdom firstly, Roman Republic and Roman Empire later. (expand)

Therefore, before 1861, Italy was not a state. The area was made of a group of separate states, ruled by other countries (such as Austria, France, and Spain). In the 1850s the Earl of Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour was the Head of Government of the "State of Sardinia". He talked to the Austrians in Lombardy and Veneto and said they should create a Northern Italian state. This happened, but other Central and Southern Italian states also joined Piedmont to create a bigger state.

In 1860, Giuseppe Garibaldi took control of Sicily, creating the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.[11] Victor Emmanuel II was made the king. But in 1861, Latium and Veneto were still not part of Italy, because they were ruled by the Pope and Austrian Empire.

Veneto was made part of Italy in 1866 after a war with Austria, and Italian soldiers won Latium in 1870. That was when they took away the Pope's power. The Pope, who was angry, said that he was a prisoner to keep Catholic people from being active in politics. That was the year of Italian unification.

Italy participated in World War I as an ally of Great Britain, France, and Russia against the Central Powers. Almost all of Italy's fighting was on the Eastern border, near Austria. After the "Caporetto defeat", Italy thought they would lose the war. But, in 1918, the Central Powers surrendered, and Italy gained the Trentino-South Tyrol, which once was owned by Austria.

In 1922, a new Italian government started. It was ruled by Benito Mussolini, the leader of Fascism in Italy. He became Head of Government and dictator, calling himself "duce" - which means "leader" in Italian. He became friends with German dictator Adolf Hitler. Germany, Japan, and Italy became the Axis Powers and entered World War II together in 1940 against France, Great Britain, and later the Soviet Union. During the war, Italy controlled most of the Mediterranean Sea.

On July 25, 1943, Mussolini was removed by the Great Council of Fascism, and, on September 8, 1943, Badoglio said that the war as an ally of Germany was ended. Italy started fighting as an ally of France and the UK, but Italian soldiers did not know whom to shoot. In Northern Italy, a movement called Resistenza started to fight against the German invaders.

Mussolini tried to make a small Northern Italian fascist state, the Republic of Salò, but it failed. On April 25, 1945, Italy became free. The state became a republic on June 2, 1946, and, for the first time, women were able to vote. Italian people ended the Savoia dynasty and adopted a republic government.

In February 1947, Italy signed a peace treaty with the Allies losing all the colonies and some territorial areas: (Istria and parts of Dalmatia).

Since then Italy has joined NATO and the European Community (as a founding member), becoming one of the seven biggest industrial economies in the world.


The railway network in Italy totals 16,627 kilometres (10,332 mi), the 17th longest in the world. High speed trains include ETR-class trains which travel at Template:Cvt.

Related pages


  1. "National demographic estimate, December 2016". ISTAT. Archived from the original on 6 August 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "World Economic Outlook Database, April 2016 – Italy". International Monetary Fund. Archived from the original on 16 November 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  3. "Gini coefficient of equivalsed disposable income (source: SILC)". Luxembourg: Eurostat. 15 June 2017. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  4. "2016 Human Development Report" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 March 2017. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  5. "Comune di Campione d'Italia". 14 July 2010. Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2010.
  6. "European Countries". European Union. Archived from the original on 2009-12-21. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2021-05-03. Retrieved 2021-04-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. "Alps are the border between Italy and other countries". Archived from the original on 2009-07-17. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
  9. "Four missing in Alps avalanche". BBC News. 20 April 2002. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  10. "Biggest Islands in the World". Archived from the original on 2018-10-01. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Italy: Encarta". MSN. Archived from the original on 2009-08-20. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
  12. Zwingle, Eria. "National Geographic". National Geographic. Archived from the original on 2009-09-07. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  13. Watson, Philip (19 March 2005). "The lake show". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 31 August 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  14. "Tourism damaging Med's wetlands". BBC News. 15 July 2004. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  15. "Alarm sounded over Italy's treasures". BBC News. 20 November 2002. Archived from the original on 30 November 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  16. "Citizenship by descent". Archived from the original on 2018-10-15. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  17. "Italy". Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on 2017-07-09. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  18. "Flag Counter: Italy". Archived from the original on 2009-07-03. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  19. "Rome's Population". Archived from the original on 2008-12-24. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
  20. "Milan's Population". Archived from the original on 2009-08-19. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
  21. "National demographic balance, 2015". Italian Government. 16 June 2016. Archived from the original on 22 August 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  22. "List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites". UNESCO. Archived from the original on 2020-06-12. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
  23. "Countries by wine Production". Archived from the original on 2013-08-01. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
  24. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2011-11-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". Archived from the original on 2015-04-24. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  26. "Rome burns its Euroland bridges". Mail Online. 8 November 2011. Archived from the original on 21 November 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  27. Template:In lang "Italy: 88% of Italians declare themselves Catholic". Corriere della Sera. 2006-01-18. Archived from the original on 2006-07-08. Retrieved 2009-05-10.
  28. "The Holy Orthodox Archdiocese of Italy and Malta". Archived from the original on 2013-08-21. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
  29. Template:In lang Center for Studies on New Religions Archived 2011-06-06 at the Wayback Machine
  30. Template:In lang Waldensian Evangelical Church Archived 2012-07-24 at
  31. "World Council of Churches". Archived from the original on 2008-07-09. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
  32. "UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office". Archived from the original on 2009-08-05. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
  33. Template:In lang Italian Buddhist Union Archived 2018-12-25 at the Wayback Machine
  34. Template:In lang Italian Buddhist Institute "Soka Gakkai" Archived 2008-02-19 at the Wayback Machine
  35. "Etnomedia". Archived from the original on 2009-06-21. Retrieved 2009-07-28.

Other websites

Template:Group of 7 Template:North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)